Powered by BFA & FEBA at Sofia University

6-14 March

A Hackathon for a Fintech-savvy nation


What is the From Zero To Fintech


The contemporary Fintech market is a jungle. With this Hackathon, we – BFA, FEBA at Sofia University, and our partners, are aiming at guiding you through all booby traps, deadly insects, and fierce predators well-hidden in the Fintech world of 2021. In a series of workshops, the event provides all participants with the tools to:

  • Build a fire – creating a sustainable Fintech idea 
  • Find a source of drinking water – pitching before investors
  • Find a shelter – be in compliance with regulations
  • Sailing at the open market – awards provided by our sponsors, in the form of services will help your ideas come to life

Who is it for?

Obviously, From Zero To Fintech is open to everyone who has been flying or is about to jump in the plane of finance, IT, marketing, law, etc. We welcome aboard all Fintech-savvy disruptors who are not afraid to face the market reality.


Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Bulgaria








  1. Case studies*
    a. Provide solutions to cases suggested by Bulgarian and international companies and government institutions
    b. Get noticed by FinTech and BigTech companies that search for TOP talent
  2. Build your own FinTech startup*
    a. Make your own Future in Finance: Develop and test an idea from the ground up
    b. Get the best advice from our mentors to prepare for an independent entrepreneurial path and (maybe 😉) become the new Robinhood™
  3. Open Banking*
    a. Get a free access to the API-simulator of the first Open Banking provider in Bulgaria: IRIS Solutions
    b. Apply your advanced IT skills and develop open banking solutions for payments, credit risk management, asset management, insurance, green finance, smart regulation and smart cities, and more

* The case study solutions and your FinTech startup ideas may involve application of Open Banking


Bulgarian Public Sector:

Boyko Takov

Executive director of Bulgarian Small and Medium Size Enterprise Promotion Agency

Anton Gerunov

Associate Professor
Sofia University

Silicon Valley Representatives

Middle East Representative

Assen Tchorbadjiev

Senior advisor: business & technology operations management

Victor Penev

Founder CEO of Edamam LLC,
Co-founder of NetInfo

Hristo Hristov

Ambassador Of Middle East @ Coinstreet Partners
Dubai Blockchain Community

Bulgarian Fintech Sector Representatives

Todor Nikolov

Senior BisDev

Boyan Yurukov

Chapter Lead Development

Ivelin Kamburov

Group CFO & BoD Member

Kiril Nikolov


Denis Brodsky

Chief People Officer
TBI Bank

Nayden Marechkov

Director Of Product Development

Alexander Dimitrov

Executive Director-BoD Member


Gergana Stoichkova

Investment Associate
Eleven Ventures

Belizar Marinov

Investment Associate
Eleven Ventures

Stoyan Pedev

CEO of Conquex
IBM Champion Blockchain

Ivan Vankov

Principal Blockchain Architect
IBM Champion

Marina Shideroff

Founder & CEO of Fram Creative Solutions

Ivan Bondokov

Co Founder of Limacon

Nikolay Tsvetanov

Managing Partner at Penkov, Markov and Partners

Iva Nachkova

Co-founder of 356labs


Filip Mutafis

Investor in
Paysera Bulgaria

Galya Dimitrova

Managing Partner
Iris Solutions

Mihael Mihaylov

Co-founder and BDO
Iris Solutions

Boris Ilinov

Chief Financial Officer
Klear Lending

Angel Marchev


Georgi Kirov

Connexion Bulgarie


# Name of Workshop Organization involved Company name Speaker Time
1 Fintech ecosystem in Bulgaria NGO BFA Georgi Penev 10:00 - 10:30
2 Top 3 technologies in Fintech Private company IBM Champions Stoyan Pedev &
Ivan Vankov
10:30 - 11:00
3 Creation of a Fintech Business
plan & Financing
Venture capital Visa Eleven Gergana Stoichkova &
Belizar Marinov
11:00 - 12:30
BREAK 12:30 - 13:00
4 Fintech Regulation Lawyers PM&P Nikolay Tsvetanov

13:00 - 13:30

5 Fintech UX  Design firm Fram Marina Shiderof 13:30 - 14:00
6 Market and sell your solution Marketing firm Limacon Ivan Bondokov 14:00 - 15:00
BREAK 15:00 - 15:15
7 Pitching and presenting your solution Presentation company 356 labs Iva Nachkova 15:15 - 16:00


Fulfill these principles and let your creativity rise and shine

The hackathon welcomes everyone interested in the field of finance. Whether you are a business, IT, Marketing, Sales or Law focused, or just a Fintech-savvy who wants to be the creator of the next generation Fintech, that’s the place for you!

If you don’t have a team yet, during the event we will help you form teams of up to 6 people. The dream team would look like: 1.Finance 2. IT 3. Marketing 4. Sales 5. Legal

All participants have to register by 23:59 on 5th March.

All teams should submit their work by 23:59 on 13th March. Any presentations submitted after will be invalid.

Teams have full ownership of everything they create during the event. Teams are free to do with it as they see wish.

We are all here to have fun and learn from the best. No need for hard feelings. Keep your cool 🙂


Before you ask, check these Q&As

The Hackathon is completely FREE of charge. Zero. Zip. Nada.

Don’t worry about that, you just fill in the form below and type in a short bio of yours, ideas, passion, interests and so on. The Hackathon is about meeting new, fresh people. We will get you in a team according to your interests and profile. But, still there will be plenty of time for everyone to meet other and pick teams before the start of the actual hacking.

In the COVID times we will use Slack, Microsoft Teams, Miro as a whiteboard and Google.

The business cases are provided by BFA membe companies who are willing to challenge you in resolving a real-life problem. Get the puzzle sorted and you can expect a call from them.

Of course you can! You are more than welcome to work on your own idea. Make sure it matches Judge’s expectations and workshops’ training. If you don’t have a team yet, you better hurry and share your idea with the audience, so you get the best chances on building the team you dreamed of.

Mentors are there to help you. They will make the best out of their schedule to meet and discuss relevant topics to them. If you are having an idea on Regtech you will be provided with the list of mentors on Regtech. Give them a shout and schedule a suitable time for both your team and your mentor.

Iris PSD2 HUB is a platform that benefits all innovative financial companies and institutions which are interested in applying Open-banking in their products and services. Using a single-integration API to IRIS PSD2 HUB, anyone can access all banks and financial institutions on the platform: 13 banks in Bulgaria, Revolut, Paysera, banks in Greece and Romania.

The best ideas will receive awards, provided by our sponsors, in the form of services that will further support the development of the ideas and help them step up on the market.

From Zero To Fintech Hackathon is not about the winning, it’s about the learning. Through the hackathons and the process of working in teams you will get unique insights about the Fintech market and meet amazing people on the way. There is always a next year and you will more than welcomed to join once again 🙂 

Good wi-fi and a PC. Most importantly - passion to work in a team and a smile on your face. 

If we haven’t answer to all your questions, feel free to drop us a line at: [email protected]


To win this race you need to go the whole nine yards. So you better get an idea on how your idea will be evaluated.



The IBM Prize

$12,000 in IBM Cloud credits for one year (Startup with IBM Program - Builder Level)

About the Program

The Startup with IBM program is intended to help start-up businesses around IBM’s key initiatives by providing resources, global reach and in-depth knowledge and experience with the world's largest enterprise customers. With IBM’s scalable solutions, you can revolutionize your build. The IBM Cloud credits give access to more than 130 unparalleled services including: AI, Blockchain, Analytics, Security and more!

*All applicants must comply with the Program Terms and Conditions and confirm their eligibility. More info here.

IRIS PSD 2 Prize

Iris solutions provides free of charge services and access to PSD 2 productional environment

IRIS Open Banking Prize

The winner of Iris’s prize receives 9-month free-of-charge access to the productional environment of IRIS PSD 2 HUB where there are more than 20 integrated payments institutions. In addition, Iris Open banking winner becomes Iris Solutions representative and gets 1-year access to IRIS Solutions SDK for mobile apps and WEB.

7Security PCI DSS

7Security group provides the winner with a €2, 000 worth of orientation consulting

7Security PCI DSS Prize

The winner of the 7 Security Group prize receives € 2,000 PCI DSS consulting package. It consists of 2 parts - orientation consulting and scope estimation. Orientation consulting gives a grasp of the complexity and all aspects involved in a PCI DSS compliance effort, while the Scope estimation part of the prize defines the reasons, method, and path to reducing the number of people, technologies, and processes subject to assessment, and influences the bottom line directly.

PMP Legal Prize

The winner gets legal advice from the best in Fintech law and regulations

PMP Legal Prize

The PMP Prize provides the winner with legal advice and assistance to a FinTech start-up company, including preliminary oral consultations with the start-up team on relevant regulatory matters in light of the contemplated business model; preparation of the necessary corporate documentation and registration of the start-up as an operating legal entity (incl. bank account opening, submission of documents and representation with the Bulgarian Commercial Register, etc.); initial analysis of relevant compliance matters related to the core activities of the start-up; subsequent engagement with and support of the company with view to establishing long-term cooperation under preferential conditions.


Bulgarian Fintech Association

BFA is a non-governmental, for-impact organization uniting all interest parties in the sector of digital finance innovation, working from the region of Southeastern Europe (SEE). Our mission is to further develop the digital finance sector in Bulgaria. In our initiatives, we bring together large Fintechs, SMEs, and supporting industries, as well as the respective authorities and academia to create favorable conditions for the development of digital finance solutions. Our ultimate goal is to establish Bulgaria as a leading Fintech Hub in the region of Southeastern Europe. We believe that fostering the Fintech businesses in Bulgaria will activate the country’s potential for innovation and new technologies.

Faculty of Economics and Business Administration (FEBA) at Sofia University

Sofia University is the first school of higher education in Bulgaria. Its history is an embodiment and a continuation of centuries of cultural and educational tradition in Bulgaria. FEBA is one of the leading institutions for teaching and research in the field of Economics and Business in the country and the Balkan region. FEBA’s mission is to produce highly-qualified graduates capable of working in all spheres of our public life.

Our graduate programmes reflect the changes in society and business by providing specialized knowledge. In October 2020, together with BFA we launched a Master’s degree in Finance and Investments whose next step is the From Zero to Fintech Hackathon. We are committed to continue providing the highest quality of teaching and research implemented with real-life business cases and opportunities.